“Share Three Words That Describe Me…”
Don’t do that.
This is not about me.
I want you to focus on that question alone!
You probably have seen this request from a friend via email or on Facebook.
The request is from a friend, so you will oblige.
A few examples based on previous examples
Charismatic, Leader, Thoughtful
Ambitious, Fun, Clever
Perfectionist, Optimist, Rebel
Bold, Carefree, Intelligent
I can list a litany of adjectives that will make anyone drool. If you are the one who asked that question, answers from your friends will take you to new levels of ecstasy. If for some reason, you were lacking self-esteem, you will have an oversupply of it. In short, you will feel like a superman or a superwoman.
If you don’t take this exercise with the right perspective, you will create for yourself what I call a “Personality Reality Distortion Field” – a manufactured self-esteem boost so high that it’s unreal.
I am all for these kinds of exercises, but the above exercise is grossly incomplete in serving the purpose.
There are other methods of identifying your strengths, but the above request brings answers paints skewed picture of your strengths because of two reasons:
- Your friends are generally polite
- There is no upside for saying anything negative PLUS
- Your question “implied” that you are asking them too sing your praises.
Be careful what you ask for because, you might actually get it.
If you ask the wrong question, the answers will not help you much.
Let’s try it another way.
How about you ask for three more words about yourself along with then above request…
The next request will look like this:
Share three words about me that tell me three areas of improvement that may be holding me back from reaching my full potential.
You might get answers like this:
Self-confidence, Negotiation, Humility
Ambition, Thoughtfulness, Leadership
Teamwork, Risk, Resilience
In summary,here are the two requests to be asked together:
1. Share Three Words That Describe Me
2, Share three words about me that tell me three areas of improvement that may be holding me back from reaching my full potential.
If you really want to get this right, send the request to friends that care for you and ask them to answer anonymously.
You will get the self-esteem boost you are looking for PLUS will also get real feedback that will help you to learn and grow!
Asking the right questions requires courage, but it will be worth it in the end.
A few takeaways are below: